Author Archives: summergathercole

We All Want the Same Thing, Don’t We?

I recently worked on a project that required a number of different stakeholders to come together and solve some common problems. The problems were big, and there was a long laundry list of items that needed to be addressed. But … Continue reading

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Funders Forget Their Influence

Have you ever had to let a staff member go? Regardless of the circumstances, it is an awful experience. It usually requires lots of documentation, and endless conversations to cover all of your bases and look at the situation from … Continue reading

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Community Leaders Could Take a Different Approach to Help

I recently spoke with a nonprofit Executive Director about an upcoming meeting that is giving her angst. Her organization launched a new program last year, and it has had a few “bumps in the road.” It’s not surprising given that … Continue reading

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I Figured It Out

I finally had a chance to watch “The Post” a few weeks ago. Given that I check The Washington Post’s online site at least 5 times a day, I can’t believe it took me so long to watch it. After … Continue reading

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We All Make “Bad Hires” at Some Point

I was recently standing outside a restaurant with a friend, studying the menu. The owner came out to see if we needed assistance. My friend: “I’m not totally clear on what gluten options you have.” The owner described the options, … Continue reading

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Fancy New Words Over-Complicate Things

After spending nearly two decades in or connected to the nonprofit sector, there are topics that are still being discussed “ad nauseam:” Board governance, fundraising, evaluation, etc. With all of the focus on innovation in recent years, one would have … Continue reading

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Sometimes We Forget the Basics

In working with entities that are trying to develop a long-term growth plan, I often ask what story they want to tell in 5 years (or 30, depending on the type of project). Sometimes I ask them to write the … Continue reading

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Who Does This?!!

I recently attended a meeting in Pueblo, Colorado. The local workforce center was holding its regularly-scheduled meeting with its partners. The people sitting around the table represented the local Department of Human Services, Voc Rehab, the community college, and an … Continue reading

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Every Nonprofit Board is Unique

Nonprofit Boards change over time. And they should. As your organization changes, the governance needed to help ensure success requires a different level of commitment, as well as expertise and knowledge. I’ll never forget the meeting when I got into … Continue reading

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What If This Nonprofit Had Said, “We’re Struggling”

Last year, I conducted a site visit in D.C. with a nonprofit that had submitted a relatively large funding request to a foundation. It was fairly well known that the organization had been struggling. The Post had written a few … Continue reading

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